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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    How can people discuss family matters with unknown people?

    My father is presently admitted in Calcutta Port Trust Hospital. While going to his cabin, I have to pass the General Ward. I have noted that two old patients in relatively better condition always discuss their family matters. I have also noted that they are complete strangers and they have met each other for the first time in hospital. I feel astonished how can they discuss their family matters, their sons' attitude, their daughter-in-laws' indifferent behaviour, etc. with complete strangers. Even in long-distance rail journeys, I have found many people, especially ladies, discuss their family matters with co-passengers.

    I am really astonished. How can people discuss family matters with complete strangers, but don't discuss these issues with the concerned family members, to sort these out?
  • #589681
    Nothing to wonder about. It is a temporary sharing of feelings and temporary happiness of offloading our feelings to relax temporarily for few minutes. Only the worried strangers would share their bad family affairs to console and keep themselves happy for a while. After they alight from the bus or get discharged from the hospital, they won't know who was he and what was he. It is utterly a temporary pleasure to share our family affairs with a stranger.
    No life without Sun

  • #589686
    Lot of people keep their mental baggage inside. And this way they end up in more psychological issue. And when they find a person who can listen to them, they vent out. So that is quite common. Besides they know the stranger is less likely to be seen. So this way they keep on explaining stuff. They don't' want solution or so in such case. But they just want someone to listen to them. This is one reason these days US has the therapy groups and psychologists who listen to them.

  • #589689
    From this it is clearly evident that senior citizens are longing for a able companion in their life to whom they may share the happiness and sorrow moments of life. I know they may be strangers, but when you pause and stop to hear them, they get to understand that you are the sooth sayer and they try to share all their burden being kept on their shoulder and thus they feel heavily relieved. By the way nothing wrong talking to elders. In fact we learn more about life and challenges. By listening for few minutes we are loosing nothing, but they get huge relief that somebody has listened to their woes.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #589722
    Even though Partha has mentioned overhearing 2 old patients, I don't think the reference literally refers to old people only. It is neither the case that "From this it is clearly evident that senior citizens are longing for a able companion in their life to whom they may share the happiness and sorrow moments of life" nor " nothing wrong talking to elders".

    I know of many a senior citizen who is happy without a companion as he/she has got great support from his/her friends' circle even if the children are not in the same city.

    Also, not everybody who unloads is an "elder"! People across all age groups can be a bit talkative when on a journey or standing around waiting for a bus or sitting in the waiting room of a clinic. They often feel like just unburdening what is going on in their lives. If those who are listening are uncomfortable or feel they just want to sit quietly, without being rude they can simply request the talker that they would like to left alone.

    When people come at you with their worst, you should come at them with your best (advice given to Selena Gomez by her mother, quoted in Time magazine.)

  • #589734
    By sharing our feelings with the strangers, really gives us some sort of pleasure which cannot be derived by mere going through the contents of a novel or any magazine. Firstly, one ensures that the man or the women with whom he is sharing the events is really attentive and is having patience to hear the entire deliberation uttered by the other party. In fact, by indulging in such talks, they find some pleasure which cannot be compensated by other source of activities.
    This cannot be generalised for the people of having a particular age group rather it may be applicable to both the races men or women of varying age groups. However, there are people who would not like to engage with such personnel talks and if the situation arises when the other man asks any personnel question the other party may take the same very seriously and the calm mood is distorted. It is better to avoid such topics but other topics varying from latest news, cricket and health topics can be discussed if the other party shows genuine interest in sustaining such discussions.

  • #589735
    I think the 'listening' factor brought out by Mahesh at # 589686 is very important. I would like to add that we tend to share much of our family matters (without, of course, divulging vital factors) with strangers because they tend to be more attentive and do not generally question the stand taken by us which may not be the case with close relatives or friends. We feel relieved when the burden of feelings we have been carrying is unfolded and feel happy that there is someone who is ready to listen to us. Moreover, such interactions are never pre-planned and is a result of a momentary relation which may or may not last long. And, as the author and the ME has rightly pointed out, it has got nothing to do with age but is purely a baby of the particular situation and circumstance one is in.
    'Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment'- Lao Tzu

  • #589737
    I have come across people speaking ill of their in-laws and even their spouse. I think it is frustration that leads people to divulge 'family secrets' to strangers. Strangers get to hear only one side of the story and often lend a sympathetic ear. They are not biased, and usually support the one speaking of their woes. It creates a feel good factor, where they get to vent out pent up emotions, without being told that they are wrong or that the person they are talking against is not as bad as they make them out to be.

    Such people look for sympathy, but it may also be a cry for help. It is really difficult to tell. I once met someone (they were neighbours, not friends in the literal sense), where the lady would speak ill of her in-laws every time we met. When I finally got to meet the in-laws they turned out to be a cultured, amiable couple, contrary to the image stories that I had heard of them.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak" - Michael Garrett Marino

  • #589760
    I would like to know whether people (young or old) don't feel uncomfortable to discuss family disputes with strangers (just like those two patients in the hospital).
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #589826
    When love at first sight happens that is too deep a thing to happen in life why our friends are so astonished about a senior citizen discussing something about her family matter to a stranger. This is all associated with loneliness and I guess very smart way of relieving oneself from some family matters that is too odd to discuss with a close by friend or family member. There are many forum where people put their question as Anonymous about their various family or personal problem. If you find a doctor on a train sitting next to you and having a problem that long troubling you, will you not seek an advise for him. It may be weird to us but that person may be touched by some attitude or personality traits of another person. I find it more smarter and less troublesome than to discussing with a family member or a long time neighbor who might pass it to another and after boomerang come back to the family.
    Farid Akhtar
    ISC-Joined for fun but learn and earn.

  • #589836
    The part you mention of train journey is what I like the most. The personal discussion goes so deep and with compassion might be there are no one to argue with or someone may have fun in it. I found in my travel experience that most of the Indian love to talk to stranger. Love to connect with people and share their joy and sorrow related to family and friends. Many have hate within to drain out whenever they got chance to do so.
    Well done is better than well said

  • #590024
    I think I won't be able to discuss my family issues with complete strangers during a railway journey or otherwise, even when I grow older. I don't know about others.
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

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